Cable Operators

Analyst: Q2 Pay TV Losses Nearly Mirror Prior Year

8/13/2012 11:48 AM Eastern

Multichannel video service providers lost a combined 325,000 basic video subscribers in the second quarter, almost identical to the losses in the same period in 2011, according to a recent report by Leichtman Research Group president and principal analyst Bruce Leichtman.
According to Leichtman, the top nine cable operators shed a combined basic 540,000 video customers in the second quarter, less than the 600,000 video customers lost in the prior year. Telco video additions were at 275,000 in the period, the fewest net additions for that sector since Q3 2007 and behind the 386,000 additions in the prior year. The satellite sector lost a combined 62,000 net new subscribers in the quarter, compared to a loss of 109,000 net new customers in the prior year. The most recent second quarter marked the first ever quarterly net subscriber deficit for DirecTV.
The combined losses were just about 1,500 more than the 323,500 the sector lost in the prior year, according to Leichtman.
Leichtman estimated that the top multi-channel video providers account for nearly 94.7 million subscribers - with the top nine cable companies having about 52.1 million video subscribers, satellite TV companies having nearly 34 million subscribers, and top telephone companies having 8.6 million subscribers.
"While reports of multi-channel video industry losses in the second quarter of 2012 have rekindled pronouncements of cord-cutting impacting the industry, the reality is that industry-wide losses in the traditionally weak quarter were nearly identical to losses in last year's second quarter," Leichtman said in a statement. "Over the past year, multi-channel video providers added about 375,000 subscribers, compared to a gain of about 210,000 over the prior year."

September